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Which Countries Allow Topless & Nude Sunbathing

topless Nude Sunbathing

Despite travel restrictions last year, there were over 10.7 million Google searches made globally in the last 12 months for ‘nude beaches’, ‘nude resorts’ and ‘sunbathe nude’. 

The majority of those searches were made by the USA, Japan and Brazil. However, when population size is accounted for, the people that want to sunbathe naked the most are from Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.

Swimwear brand Pour Moi has investigated the nudity laws of all the countries around the world to find that 39 countries permit nude sunbathing, but 38 categorically do not! And the others have ambiguous rules.

Sunbathing topless, or partially naked, is received very differently around the world, with religious and cultural histories making a big impact on how acceptable or offensive it is deemed. Even within a single country, like the USA for example, different regions have very different stances and laws on naturist activity.   

Public nudity laws can become confused with the rules surrounding naked sunbathing, with many countries saying public nudity is illegal, but they are actually OK with topless sunbathing. For most nations, the ‘intention to offend’ is the main thing that differentiates trying to catch some vitamin D without tan lines, versus someone streaking or flashing. 

Founder of Pour Moi Michael Thomson says “We know a lot of our customers like to ditch their swimsuit when they sunbathe, and with tentative steps being made towards international travel opening up, we wanted to help people find out where you can and can’t go topless when you sunbathe. We’re a UK company and Brits are stereotyped as being quite prude, but it’s not true, a lot of us love to embrace more naturist ways in the sunshine! It’s been fun comparing which countries are most interested in sunbathing naked, versus what the actual nudity laws are in that country.” 

The worldwide map categorises countries into four colours. The 38 countries in red are ones where public nudity of any kind, even non-offensive public topless sunbathing, is completely unacceptable or illegal. Countries coloured green (39) are those which are pretty relaxed about public topless or nude sunbathing, allowing it in multiple official and unofficial locations.  

Nude Sunbathing World USA

The 29 countries marked in amber indicate laws that are ambiguous or contradictory, or where there are very limited places to naked sunbathe – these places will require a bit more research before taking off your swimsuit. For example, in Tunisia (amber) topless sunbathing is deemed OK in some private hotels and resorts but is generally unacceptable on public beaches. Or, in Costa Rica (amber), whilst public nudity is technically illegal, there are unofficial naturist resorts and beaches.

Countries That Want to Sunbathe Nude the Most (Per Person) 

Looking at Google search data, and cross-referencing it with each country’s population size, the ten nations who are the biggest fans of sunbathing naked are: 

  1. Australia - Code Green: Topless sunbathing is legal, with plenty of official nudist beaches.
  2. New Zealand - Code Amber: Whilst not illegal you must do it in a designated area.
  3. Ireland - Code Red: Illegal to sunbathe topless and no official nude beaches.
  4. USA Code Amber: In 32 states you shouldn’t have any legal worries about nude sunbathing however, it isn’t allowed in Utah, Indiana or Tennesse.
  5. Canada - Code Green: Their nudity law is rarely enforced as it relies on context, with topless sunbathing being deemed a case that doesn’t have the intent to offend.
  6. Netherlands - Code Green: Topless sunbathing is common and allowed in designated areas.
  7. UK - Code Green: Topless sunbathing is completely legal and nudist beaches exist.
  8. Japan – Code Green: Although there aren’t many nudist beaches, onsens (hot water springs) are usually attended in the nude. 
  9. Spain - Code Green: Legal to sunbathe naked or topless and it’s a fairly common sight.
  10. Hungary – Code Green: Nude beaches are quite common and not illegal to sunbathe naked. 

Green Countries

Brazil – Green: Generally illegal but there are dedicated nudist beaches around the country.

Uruguay – Green: Generally topless sunbathing is allowed and nude beaches exist.

Japan – Green: Although there aren’t many nudist beaches, onsens (hot water springs) are usually attended in the nude.

Bulgaria – Green: Boasts a nice selection of nudist beaches.

Croatia – Green: Topless and nude sunbathing is legal and practiced pretty much everywhere.

Czech Republic – Green: Topless sunbathing is allowed in public.

Denmark – Green: Public nude sunbathing and topless sunbathing are both legal and common to see.

Estonia – Green: Both official and unofficial nudist beaches.

France – Green: Common and acceptable to sunbathe topless, and a large selection of nudist beaches.

Germany – Green: Plenty of nudist beaches and park – topless sunbathing acceptable and common.

Greece – Green: Topless sunbathing is legal and common.

Hungary – Green: Nude beaches are quite common and not illegal to sunbathe naked.

Iceland – Green: Not very common but perfectly legal.

Italy – Green: Not illegal to sunbathe topless, plenty of designated areas for naked sunbathing and dedicated nudist beaches.

Latvia – Green: Topless tanning is totally acceptable, and there are multiple nudist beaches.

Lithuania – Green: Technically illegal but there is a selection of official and unofficial nudist beaches.

Luxembourg – Green: Still a relatively new concept, but there are official nudist beaches.

Montenegro – Green: Legal specific areas for both nude and topless sunbathing.

Netherlands – Green: Topless sunbathing is common and allowed in designated areas.

Norway – Green: There have been reports of some problems for topless sunbathers, but there are some nudist beaches.

Portugal – Green: Not common but it’s legal to sunbathe naked.

Serbia – Green: There are several nudist beaches.

Slovakia – Green: Nudist societies and official nudist beaches exist.

Slovenia – Green: Common to see topless sunbathing and there is a selection of nudist beaches.

Spain – Green: Legal to sunbathe naked or topless and it’s a fairly common sight.

Sweden – Green: Recent law passed making it legal to be naked in public so that people can sunbathe topless. Official nudist beaches exist.

Switzerland – Green: Legal to sunbathe topless, and there is also lots of naked hiking!

Ukraine – Green: Has a selection of nudist beaches.

United Kingdom – Green: Topless sunbathing is completely legal and nudist beaches exist.

Australia – Green: Topless sunbathing is legal and there are plenty of specific beaches for full nudity.

See the full research on the Pour Moi website for a full summary of the rules for each individual country.

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